CONSTITUTION OF WALKERBURN & DISTRICT COMMUNITY COUNCIL



1.0. NAME

1.1. The name of the Community Council shall be Walkerburn & District Community Council (hereinafter referred to as ďthe Community CouncilĒ).

2.0. AREA

2.1. The area of the Community Council shall be that part of the Scottish Borders, the boundaries of which are shown delineated on the map annexed to the principal copy of the Community Council Scheme adopted by the Scottish Borders Council (hereinafter referred to as ďthe SchemeĒ).

3.0. PURPOSES/FUNCTIONS

3.1. In addition to any other purpose that it may pursue, a Community Council shall:

a. ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the Scottish Borders Council as the Local Authority for its area, and to other public authorities, the views of the community which it represents in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible;

b. make known within the community such information as may be received from the Scottish Borders Council and other public authorities; and

c. take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable.

3.2. The Community Council shall be non-party in politics and non-discriminatory and shall represent all persons in its area.

4.0. COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL

4.1. The Community Council shall be composed of:

a. nine members who have been elected in the manner prescribed in the Scheme;

b. the Scottish Borders Councillors for the area covered by the Community Council or any part of it, who shall have ex officio membership of the Community Council during their period of office for the Local Authority but shall have no entitlement to vote, move motions or amendments, or hold office in the Community Council. No Member of the Scottish Borders Council may simultaneously be a member of the Community Council other than in an ex officio capacity.

4.2. The Community Council may include co-opted members in the following circumstances:

a. The Community Council may co-opt further members with skills or knowledge which the Community Council considers would be of assistance to the Community Council in carrying out its functions. Such co-opted members shall not have voting rights, shall not be entitled to move motions or amendments, and shall not hold office, and may be of any age. Members co-opted for this purpose will serve for such time as may be determined by the Community Council at the time of their co-option or until the Community Council decide that their services are no longer required; and

b. The Community Council may, where the elected membership does not comprise the maximum number of elected members specified in paragraph 4.1(a) above but is equal to, or exceeds, one-half of that number, or where casual vacancies arise during a term of office, co-opt persons who would be eligible for election to the Community Council as members in order to make up that number, subject to the number of members so co-opted not at any time exceeding one quarter of the maximum number of elected members specified in paragraph 4.1(a) above. For the purposes of this sub-paragraph, any fraction arising shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number. Members so co-opted may serve until the next ordinary election to the Community Council, qualifying for full voting rights after attending 3 meetings of the Community Council or 6 months after co-option (whichever is shorter).

4.3. In the event of the number of elected Members of the Community Council, in the interval between elections, reducing to less than one-half of the maximum number specified in paragraph 4.1 (a) above, a by-election shall be held not later than two months after this reduction occurs (unless the next ordinary election is due to occur within six months of the reduction occurring). The number of vacancies to be filled at the by-election shall be the number by which the elected membership falls short of the maximum.

5.0. METHOD OF CO-OPTION OF MEMBERS

5.1. A proposal to co-opt a person or persons to the Community Council under paragraph 4.2(b) hereof shall require a Notice of Motion to that effect to be included on the Agenda for the appropriate meeting of the Community Council, and such Notice of Motion shall include the name and address of the person proposed to be co-opted, together with that personís number on the current Electoral Register, and the names of the proposer and seconder who shall be elected members of the Community Council.

6.0. CASUAL VACANCIES

6.1. A casual vacancy shall be deemed to arise in any of the following circumstances:

a. on the day when a member ceases to be entered in the Electoral Roll for the area covered by the Community Council;

b. on the expiry of a period of six calendar months during which a member has failed to attend a meeting of the Community Council, or of any Committee or other body constituted by the Community Council, unless leave of absence has been granted or other reason accepted by the Community Council; or

c. upon the receipt by the Secretary to the Community Council of a written notice of resignation from a member.

7.0. TERM OF OFFICE

7.1. Elected members of the Community Council shall serve for a term of 3 years, and shall be eligible for re-election. Three of the members of the Community Council shall retire on a rotating annual basis.

7.2. This term of office shall be held to be adjusted without the need to amend this Constitution in the event of the Scottish Borders Council exercising their right under the Scheme to set a common date in each year for Community Council elections.

8.0. NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

8.1 A person seeking election to the Community Council must be aged 18 years or over and appear on the Electoral Roll for the Community Council area at the date of being proposed for membership of the Community Council. Each candidate shall be nominated by a Proposer (who may be the candidate) and a Seconder, both being persons whose names appear at that time in the said Electoral Roll.

8.2 No person shall be entitled to nominate more than one candidate.

8.3 Where the number of valid nominations, after any withdrawals, exceeds the number of Community Council members specified, a contested election shall be held in accordance with the procedure hereinafter prescribed.

8.4 Where the number of valid nominations, after any withdrawals, is equal to, or more than half, the number of Community Council members specified, the Returning Officer shall give public notice that the candidates validly nominated have been elected to the Community Council.

8.5 The Returning Officer shall publish whether through a free sheet circulating throughout the Community Council area or in some other manner, not less than seven days prior to the election, details of the election procedure to be employed, including the names and addresses of candidates and the place, dates and times fixed for the conduct of the poll and the count.

9.0 Returning Officer

9.1 The Returning Officer shall be the person appointed by the Community Council concerned, subject to approval by the appropriate Scottish Borders Council officer. The Returning Officer for a Community Council election shall not be an elected member of that Community Council nor a candidate in that election to that Community Council.

10.0 Voting Arrangements

10.1 Persons included in the Walkerburn and District section of the Electoral Roll and who would be entitled to vote in a Local Government election at the date of the Community Council election shall be entitled to vote in the Community Council election.

10.2 Voting in the Community Council election shall take place by way of a ballot box on a prescribed day between the hours of 2pm and 8pm at Walkerburn Public Hall using a simplified version of the prescribed procedure for Local Authority elections.

10.3 The ballot papers to be used in Community Council elections shall be laid out in a style approved by the Scottish Borders Council.

10.4 Each eligible elector shall have available to him a number of votes equal to the aggregate number of seats being contested at that election and no elector shall cast more than one vote for any one candidate.

10.5 The number of vacant seats available shall be filled by the corresponding number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes. In the event of more than one candidate receiving the same number of votes for the last available seat or seats on the Community Council, the successful candidate(s) will be decided by lot.

10.6 A returned ballot paper shall contain only such information as is requested to identify the candidates chosen by the elector. Any ballot paper which at the counting of the votes is found to:

(a) contain any mark or other writing implying that the number of votes being cast is more than the designated number available to the elector; or
(b) contain any mark or other writing implying that more than one vote for any one candidate is being cast; or
(c) identify the elector,

shall be deemed to be a spoilt paper, and shall be disregarded in the count.

10.7 The Returning Officer shall appoint and instruct persons to supervise the ballot and to conduct the count.

10.8 The Returning Officer, immediately after the counting of votes, shall complete a return to the Scottish Borders Council and to the Community Council, containing the names and addresses of members elected, details of the number of votes cast for each candidate, the number of ballot papers issued and returned, the number of spoilt ballot papers and any other information as to the conduct of the election which may be required by Scottish Borders Council.

10.9 The Returning Officer shall, as soon as possible after the election, give public notice of the names and addresses of members elected.

11.0 GENERAL PROVISIONS

11.1 A Chairperson shall be elected from amongst the Community Council members for a three year term of office at the Annual General Meeting. The chairperson may stand for re-election for one further term of office.

11.2. The Community Council may elect a Secretary and a Treasurer (which offices may be combined) who shall hold office and may be eligible for re-election in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 11.1 above. A remuneration, set annually by the Community Council, is payable to these office-bearers. In the event of the Community Council being unable to elect a Secretary and/or Treasurer, the Secretary and Treasurer (but no other office-bearers) may be appointed from outwith the membership of the Community Council and may receive such remuneration as the Community Council may determine from the resources available to them, there being no extra funding available from the Scottish Borders Council for this purpose. Such appointees from outwith the membership shall be entitled to speak only on matters relating to their function as office-bearers and shall have no voting rights.

11.3. The Chairperson shall:

a. be responsible for ensuring that meetings of the Community Council are properly conducted in accordance with the Constitution and Standing Orders; and

b. be responsible for the submission of a written Annual Report on the Community Councilís activities for the previous year to the Annual General Meeting and thereafter to the Scottish Borders Council.

11.4. The Secretary, or in the absence of the Secretary, the Chairperson pro tem, shall:

a. convene meetings of the Community Council and its committees;

b. undertake correspondence arising from the work of the Community Council;

c. be responsible for preparing and keeping the minutes of meetings, including a record of those members in attendance and those members who are absent, and making a true record of proceedings for distribution to members and others;

d. undertake other duties, pertinent to the role of the Community Council, as required by the Community Council from time to time.

11.5. The Treasurer shall:

a. correctly maintain the Community Councilís financial records, which shall disclose, with reasonable accuracy at any time, the financial position of the Community Council;

b. take all reasonable steps to ensure that monies due are received and creditors paid;

c. present financial information to the Community Council when required; and

d. if nominated to do so, prepare annually an Abstract of Accounts for submission to the Annual General Meeting.

11.6. Any vacancy in office arising during the office-bearerís term of office may be filled at any meeting of the Community Council, provided that notice of the vacancy has been included in the agenda for the meeting.

11.7. As soon as practicable following such appointments, the Community Council shall lodge with Scottish Borders Council, a return specifying the full names, designations and addresses of the Community Council office-bearers and Auditor(s) /Examiner(s) of their Accounts and subsequently advise, in writing, of all changes thereof within one month of such changes occurring.

11.8. Code of Conduct. Community Council members shall comply with the Scottish Borders Council Code of Conduct for Community Councillors given at Schedule 3 of the Scheme:

a. A copy shall be handed to any person who signs a nomination form for election to the Community Council or for co-option and signing the nomination or co-option form shall be their declaration that they agree to abide by the Code.

b. Members shall be required to declare in advance pecuniary and non pecuniary interests relating to matters which might be under discussion and after doing so shall take no part in their consideration. Failure to observe this may lead to suspension and repeated failure to observe may lead to expulsion.

c. The Community Council shall submit in writing annually its agreement to abide by the Code.

12.0. SUB-COMMITTEES

12.1. The Community Council shall have the power to establish Sub-Committees and ad hoc Committees and to stipulate their composition, powers, duties and duration.

12.2. Decisions of Sub-Committees and ad hoc Committees shall be taken by a majority vote of those present, with the Chairman having both a deliberative and a casting vote.

12.3. At a meeting of a Sub-Committee or ad hoc Committee, a quorum shall be at least one-half of the elected membership thereof.

12.4. Sub-Committees or ad hoc Committees shall keep a record of their proceedings and decisions taken, which will be submitted to the Secretary for entry in the Community Council minutes.

13.0. MEETINGS

13.1. Meetings of the Community Council shall be convened at intervals of not more than one month and at least 10 meetings shall be held annually, one of which shall be the Annual General Meeting. All meetings of the Community Council shall be open to members of the public. The Community Council shall comply with the principles of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, a summary of its main provisions having been provided to the Community Council, and any amending legislation, particularly in regard to the conduct of business in public unless permitted to be taken in private in terms of the Act, and also in regard to allowing advance sight of agenda papers and Minutes.

13.2. All relevant Community Council members shall be advised of the place, date and time of any meetings of the Community Council, Committees or Sub-Committees by means of written agendas, specifying the business to be conducted and sent either to their normal residence or place of work if requested by them at least seven days before or, in cases of urgency, at least three clear days before, the due date of such meeting. At the same time as the agenda is issued to members, a copy shall be sent to the Director of Central Services of the Scottish Borders Council or his nominee as advised. At the same time, public notice shall be given by a copy of the agenda being affixed in a prominent and clearly visible position at the normal place where meetings of the Community Council are held.

13.3. Only Community Council members with full voting rights may vote at Community Council Meetings, including Annual General Meetings, the only exception being votes on the proposed contents of the Constitution and proposed amendments thereto, in which case all persons eligible to vote in local government elections and on the Electoral Roll for the Community Council area and in attendance at the meeting are entitled to vote.

13.4. The quorum for each Community Council meeting shall be one-third of the Community Council membership eligible to vote, subject to a minimum of three.

13.5. With the permission of the Chairman, any member of the public in attendance may speak or ask a question regarding any item on the agenda.

14.0. SPECIAL MEETINGS AND EXTRAORDINARY PUBLIC MEETINGS

14.1. The Community Council shall be empowered to convene special meetings and extraordinary public meetings as after mentioned within the area of the Community Council for the purpose of considering matters of interest and importance, and for the purpose of agreeing or amending the Constitution.

14.2. The Community Council shall, upon receipt of a requisition signed by twenty electors, convene a special meeting, to be held within 21 days of receipt by the Secretary of that requisition, to consider the business specified in the requisition and in the notice calling the meeting.

14.3. The Community Council shall, upon receipt of a requisition signed by not less than 3 members, convene an extraordinary public meeting, to be held within 21 days of receipt by the Secretary of that requisition, to consider the business specified in the requisition and in the notice calling the meeting.

15.0. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

15.1. An Annual General Meeting shall be held in June each year.

15.2. The Agenda for the Annual General Meeting shall include the following items, namely:

a. a report by the Chairperson on the Community Councilís activities for the previous year;

b. the scrutinised/approved Annual Abstract of Accounts; and
proposals for the amendment of the Community Councilís Constitution, where appropriate;
election of office-bearers and appointment of auditor/independent examiner.

16.0. MINUTES

16.1. The Community Council shall submit to the nominated officer of Scottish Borders Council, copies of the Minutes of its meetings not later than 21 days after each meeting. Minutes shall be circulated to members not later than 21 days after each meeting. Minutes of any meeting shall be made available not later than seven clear days prior to the next meeting of the Community Council for inspection by members of the public within the Community Councilís area from either the Chairperson or the Secretary or in such other location(s) as may be determined by the Community Council from time to time.

17.0. HOLDING OF HERITABLE PROPERTY

17.1. Any heritable property acquired by the Community Council shall be vested in the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer of the Community Council, and their respective successors, as trustees for and on behalf of the Community Council. The Secretary will maintain an asset register in order to support Scottish Borders Council in the dispersal of assets should the Community Council dissolve.

18.0. STANDING ORDERS

18.1. All Community Council business shall be conducted in accordance with such Standing Orders as may be prepared by the Community Council and approved in writing by Scottish Borders Council prior to adoption, and which shall not be amended without the prior written approval of the Scottish Borders Council.

19.0. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

19.1. The Community Council may raise funds for schemes, projects and other purposes falling within its purposes/functions as stated in paragraph 3.

19.2. All monies received by the Community Council, whether by way of grant, gift or loan shall be applied to further its purposes/functions as stated in paragraph 3.

19.3. The Community Council shall keep an accurate record of its receipts and payments and the Treasurer or other nominated office-bearer shall prepare annually an Abstract of Accounts based on the financial year April to March. The books and Abstract of the Community Council shall be scrutinised by an auditor/independent examiner (who shall not be a member of the Community Council), duly appointed from year to year for that purpose by the Community Council following approval by the Scottish Borders Council. A copy of the approved Abstract for the Community Council shall be submitted to Scottish Borders Council within seven days of the Annual General Meeting.

19.4. The Community Council shall not hold more than the equivalent of two years annual SBC grant by way of reserves, excluding money ring-fenced for specific initiatives.

20.0. DISSOLUTION/DISESTABLISHMENT

20.1. A proposal to dissolve the Community Council shall require a Notice of Motion to that effect to be included on the agenda for a special meeting or an extraordinary public meeting, and shall require to be passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.

20.2. In the event of the disestablishment or dissolution of the Community Council for any reason, such property and funds as are vested or under the control of the Community Council at the date of disestablishment or dissolution shall be transferred to and vested in the Scottish Borders Council unencumbered and shall be administered and applied by them in such manner as the Scottish Borders Council in their sole discretion may determine to be for the benefit of all or part of the Community Council area, said discretion including the power of sale. The members and office-bearers of the former Community Council shall remain liable following such transfer for their intromissions with the former Community Councilís assets during their term of office.

21.0. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION

21.1. Any proposal to amend this Constitution must be delivered in writing to the Secretary of the Community Council at least twenty-eight days before the date of the Meeting at which the proposal is first to be considered.

21.2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 11 hereof any alteration to this Constitution will require approval of both:

a. a majority of Members of the Community Council voting at a Community Council Meeting; and

b. a two-thirds majority of residents of the Community Area entitled to vote, being present and voting at an Annual General Meeting of the Community Council or a Special Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for considering the approval of such alteration.

21.3. Notice of any Special Meeting or Extraordinary Public Meeting at which a proposal to change this Constitution of the Community Council is to be considered shall be given at least fourteen days prior to the date of the Meeting and such notice shall detail the wording of the proposed alteration(s).

22.0. ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION

22.1. This Constitution, after being agreed by the Walkerburn & District Community Council, was adopted